One of the major symbols of Christianity is the Cross of Jesus Christ. As a result, the tenets of Christianity were based on the teachings of Jesus Christ that He taught when He was alive on the earth. Also, the tenets of Christianity were based on His death on the Cross of Calvary, His resurrection, and His ascension back to Heaven at the right hand of the Father. In fact, it was on a rugged, wooden cross that Jesus Christ shed His Holy Blood as a sacrifice for the sins of a lost and dying world. It was on a rugged, wooden cross that Jesus Christ shed His Holy Blood as a sacrifice for the healing of all infirmities. Finally, it was on a rugged, wooden cross that Jesus Christ shed His Holy Blood as a sacrifice for those who would seek admittance to the very throne room of God through prayers in His divine name.
Therefore, without the Cross of Jesus Christ and without the shedding of His Holy Blood, no one could be forgiven of their sins, no one could be healed of their diseases and illnesses, no one could be granted an eternal home in Heaven, and no one could be granted permission to talk directly to God the Father. Ultimately, without the Cross of Jesus Christ, there is no Christianity, which is a faith-based relationship between those men and women who accept that Jesus Christ is God’s Only Begotten Son and those who accept that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. This is the reason why the message of the Cross must be preached. As recorded in I Corinthians 1:17-18 by Paul the Apostle,
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Since the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in May 1607, millions of men, women, boys, and girls have accepted the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ. They have dedicated their lives to love Him and to spread His true gospel throughout colonial America and eventually to the postmodern twenty-first century. Therefore, Christianity has become the main religious belief in the United States, despite what America’s elected politicians purport. As a result, the United States has become the most blessed nation in the world. For example, America has had such a prosperous economy over the years that people from all over the world risk their lives to come to America legally and illegally. They want to get a piece of the “American Dream” pie. But, in the past decade, it appears that America has lost its “blessed” status. Unemployment is around ten percent, the national debt is around fifteen trillion dollars and rising, Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare are almost bankrupt, billions of dollars are being borrowed from countries who actually hate the United States, millions of dollars are spent to assist those who have had natural disasters, which are on the rise, and American citizens and their interests face the possibility of terrorist attacks around the clock in the United States and across the globe. However, there must be a viable reason for America’s economic chaos.
But, what could be the possible reason for America’s drastic decline over the past decade? The reason for America’s drastic decline over the past decade is the exodus of the Cross of Jesus Christ from many Christian churches. These churches are Christian in name only. They do go through a formality that makes them appear to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. They sing gospel songs, they have prayer, they take up tithes and offerings, they read from the Holy Scriptures, and their ministers preach sermons behind a pulpit. Unfortunately, though, the Cross of Jesus Christ is not the central figure of the plan of salvation that these ministers and Christian churches promote Sunday after Sunday. Instead, these ministers preach and promote a gospel that prohibits the mention of the sacrificial blood that is the central focus of the Cross of Jesus Christ, because these events at the crucifixion are considered to be too gory or too violent for postmodern church goers. In fact, many churches remove the word “blood” from their hymnals for this very reason. Also, these events that happened to Jesus Christ on the Cross that solidify God’s plan of salvation might not be accepted by many postmodern men and women who might profess to be a Christian but, at the same time, they want to keep living their sinful lifestyles.
However, why would Christian ministers and their respective churches refuse to preach and promote the true, unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ? Mainly, they do not want to offend anyone and they do not want to make them feel uneasy during the church service, which could be classified as religious political correctness. But, since the Bible states that the Word of God is more powerful than any two-edged sword and cuts away the sins of mankind, unsaved people in the congregation should expect to feel uneasy. In fact, this is the purpose of a sermon from God; sinners should feel condemnation for their sins and should seek a Cross-bought salvation as a way of escape. Then, Jesus’ life and death would not be in vain. Sadly, though, over 50 % of postmodern Christians believe that there are many ways to get to Heaven. If this was true, God would not have sent His Only Begotten Son to earth to die for the sins of mankind. Also, if this was true, God would have sent ten thousand angels and rescued Jesus Christ from the Cross, just like He rescued Isaac before Abraham killed him as a sacrifice to God.
Ultimately, since the Word of God is truthful and since the Word of God states that there is only one way to Heaven, those people who believe this lie of Satan may get a sad surprise in Heaven when God asks them “by whose name were you saved.” As stated in Acts 4: 12, “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” As a result, salvation cannot be obtained unless it comes through Jesus Christ and His death on the blood-stained Cross of Calvary. Therefore, those who believe the “more than one way to Heaven” lie preached to them week after week in their cold, formalistic churches will one day arrive in Heaven without their official, blood-bought passport. Of course, the outcome will be disastrous. They will hear the Lord say, as recorded in Matthew 7:23, “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” There are no words that a man or woman could hear God say that could be any sadder than these words.
Finally, what should postmodern men and women do to insure that they arrive at the Gates of Heaven with the appropriately-stamped salvation passport? Ultimately, the six things that a person must do are:
First, a person must recognize and accept that Jesus Christ is God’s Only Begotten Son.
Second, a person must confess and repent of all his or her sins to God the Father.
Third, a person must accept that there is only one way to Heaven, which is through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Fourth, a person must accept the message of the Cross, which is the forgiveness of sins through the sacrificial shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Fifth, a person must not only talk the Christian talk, but he or she must also walk the Christian walk each day of his or her life.
Sixth, a person must take up his own figurative cross and die daily to the sins that so easily beset mankind.
However, since many postmodern Christian churches refuse to preach the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ, many people might not hear about the six things needed to get to Heaven from their pulpits. Needless to say, this attitude of many of America’s Cross-less Christian churches would cause the blood of lost souls to be on their hands. Of course, there can be no more horrendous epitaph than for a church to be responsible for the spiritual death of those who attend their churches. Therefore, the exodus of the Cross of Jesus Christ from churches in America would deny eternal salvation to millions of people who do not hear the truth of the gospel in its entirety in these churches. But, the Holy Spirit can definitely draw these church goers who have not heard the whole truth of Jesus Christ’s plan of salvation to other true gospel alternatives.
One such alternative method would be to meditate on the words contained in the four stanzas and refrain of the great hymnal of the Christian Church entitled “The Old Rugged Cross.” They are:
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown. (1)
Of course, if a person is drawn to the anointed words of “The Old Rugged Cross,” meditates on them, accepts the message contained within them, and confesses and repents of his or her sins, then that person will be a born-again Christian who is on his or her way to Heaven. But, if these same people refuse the message contained within this godly song and instead accept the Cross-less and blood-less gospel message of postmodern ministers that has been banned from the church that bears the name of Jesus Christ, they will attempt to enter Heaven one day with an unacceptable salvation passport.
P.S. There are many scriptures that deal with what Jesus accomplished on the Cross. Some of these are:
Isaiah 53:5-But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Matthew 20:28-The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
John 3:16- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 11:25-26- Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Romans 8:3-For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man.
1 Peter 2:24-He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
1 John 2:2-He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (2)
1. George Bennard. “The Old Rugged Cross” Hymnal.Net